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black and white photo of child
Ephram Edward Benguiat, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, 1928
October 16, 2020

Remembering Ed Benguiat

We at the Archives are sad to hear that Ed Benguiat passed away yesterday at 92. Born in Brooklyn in 1927, Benguiat left the life of a jazz drummer around 1950 to become a highly regarded typographer, working with the likes of Herb Lubalin and Saul Bass, and a beloved educator who taught at SVA for more than 50 years.

His eponymous font for ITC, ITC Benguiat, first released in 1978, has had a long life, appearing in the 1980s on the covers of Stephen King novels and Choose Your Own Adventure books, in the copyright notice at the beginning of all Paramount Pictures' VHS tapes and in title sequences for Quentin Tarantino's films, the Next Generation series of Star Trek films in the mid-to-late '90s, and the recent Netflix series Stranger Things.

Below are a few pictures of Ed and just a few examples of his work we have in the archive, each of which has a lot of personality, just like the man himself.

black and white photo of child
Photograph of two-year-old Ed Benguiat.

covers of specimen books for Bookman, Barcelona, and American Typewriter typefaces
Covers of type specimens for three Benguiat typefaces: ITC Bookman, ITC Barcelona, and ITC American Typewriter

draft logotype for the new york times, the new york times magazine, and the new york times book review
Draft logotypes by Benguiat for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, and the New York Times Book Review.

Ed Benguiat holding a poster board and cup
Undated photo of Benguiat.

Poster for Photo-Lettering Inc. displaying ITC Benguiat Condensed.

Front and back cover of "Photo-Lettering Number Two," the in-house magazine for PLINC.

"fat stuff" written in Fat Stuff typeface
"Fat Stuff" a new typeface based on Benguiat Charisma

Ed Benguiat looking at sheet of hand lettered words
Benguiat at the "International Calligraphy Competition" at the ITC Center in 1980. Benguiat was a judge for the event. Photo by Greig Cranna.

waterfall of various benguiat types
Just a few of the typefaces and weights Benguiat designed.

logotype for meredes benz
Logotype for Mercedes Benz, seems never to have been used.
logotype for PLINC and for Barcelona '92
Top: A very swash-y logotype for PLINC. Bottom: As a design consultant for the 1992 Summer Olympics, in Barcelona, Benguiat created a typeface, ITC Barcelona, though this logotype looks to be styled on a mix of Barcelona and ITC Benguiat.